Becoming a parent carries a lot of emotions: excitement, nervousness, fear of the unknown, and more. But while Cheryl Brown Nichols was carrying her emotions and a new baby boy, she was not expecting what her doctor said next.
One week after she was told she was pregnant, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
That was more than a year ago, and she has nothing but positive things to say about her experience at Medstar Franklin Square Hospital.
She was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer in June of 2016, had a lumpectomy in August, but she had to wait until her second trimester to start chemotherapy.
Her surgeon, Dr. Kristen Frenandez, said, at the time, the biggest challenge in a case like this is remembering there are two patients. "The number 1 focus has to be to keep mom healthy and alive because otherwise the baby is not going to be healthy or alive."
Come September 2016 she started her treatment, was pregnant with her son and was running two Assisted Living centers, one in Glen Burnie and one in Pasadena.
"I focused more on the pregnancy than the chemo just being healthy and getting my rest, and eating a healthy diet," Nichols said.
Like a real-life superwoman living in Maryland, Nichols used her power of positivity to get through it all. When asked what her emotions were during the situation she said,
"I would say pretty positive throughout the entire situation."
Javion Nichols was born on January 26, 2017, and she said everything went great.
"I just thought of it as a moment in time, something you have to get through. That is just the way it is. We all have obstacles, and everyone has different obstacles, but that is just something you have to get through. Some people lose jobs, you know you have to get through that. Different things happen to different people and you just have to work through it."
Less than one year after Nichols started treatment at Medstar Franklin Square Hospital, she is happy to say she is in remission. She got a mammogram done in May coming back with the positive news.
While she repeatedly said that staying positive was a key part of getting through it all, she has other advice for anyone going through a similar situation,
"I would say do a lot of research and stay positive throughout the situation and you have to have a very strong support system."
She elaborated and said that her support system was her family, and without them, it would have been a completely different experience.
Now that Nichols can take a deep breath, and focus on her family and job, she says it's time for a much-needed vacation.